Grandma's Button Box - Sorting

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Students will be able to compare objects and sort objects by color.

Big Idea

Students use the book Grandma's Button Box as a model to sort by color.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start the lesson with a problem of the day to help students review skills and concepts from prior lessons and develop their ability to problem solve.  I call the students up to the carpet. The students find their spots while saying this chant with me.

Criss cross, applesauce, hands in your lap, eyes on the teacher, you've got to show me that.

I project the Problem of the Day on the SMARTBoard and say to students, "This is our Problem of the Day for today.  Look at squares.  They are just like the color tiles we sorted yesterday.  This says 'Sort by color.  Put the color tiles in the correct group.'"  I call a student up to drag a color tile into the corresponding circle.  If the student drags it to the wrong circle, it will snap back, so they will know right away if they made a mistake.  If a student does make a mistake, I say, "Remember we are sorting by color.  Make sure the color tiles are the same color."  I continue to call students up until all of the color tiles have been correctly sorted. 

If you don't have a SMARTBoard, you can use the pdf copy of the slides in a variety of ways to reproduce this activity.

I tell students, "Today we will be reading a story called Grandma's Button Box.  In this story the characters find lots of ways to sort buttons and one of them is by color just like we have been doing!"

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

Since this story is a bit long especially when stops are made to discuss sorting, I start with a simple movement to help students get their wiggles out.  For this lesson, I used Wiggle Willy.  It is available on Dr. Jean's Better Bodies and Brains album.

When the song is over, I remind the students that now we need to be sitting criss cross applesauce with hands in the lap.  I tell students, "Today we are going read Grandma's Button Box and talk about how the characters sorted the buttons."  I read the story aloud, stopping each time the buttons are sorted.  I ask, "How were the buttons sorted?"  When the story is finished, I ask, "What did Kelly need to do to put the buttons away?"  (She needed to sort the buttons.) "How did Kelly and her cousins decided to sort the buttons?"  (They decided to sort the buttons by color.)

I tell students that we will be practicing sorting by color again today on a Color Buttons worksheet. Doing a short worksheet each day helps the students learn basic paper and pencil skills such as circling and crossing out, which will help students when they take the assessment at the end of the unit.

I show students the paper and say, "We will be doing the first question together, and today you will try to do the rest on your own."  During the lesson prior to this, I completed the entire paper with the students.  Many of the students have limited experience with completing worksheets and need clear directions and modeling.  Today I use a gradual release of responsibility.  I still model the first question, but then I give the students a chance to show some independence as they complete the paper.  I circulate and help students who need assistance during this time.  The chance to work independently on these few questions is building up to students being able to complete assignments on their own.  

I say, "When you get to your seats, you need to get out your pencil and put your name on your paper.  When your name is on your paper hold your pencil in the air, that will let me know that you are ready to start."  I like to have students hold up their pencils or put their hands on their heads when they are finished with a task.  It makes it easy for me to see who is ready and also keeps the students from writing all over their papers while they wait for other students to finish. 

I hand each student a paper and they walk back to their seats.  While the students are writing their names, I turn on the projector and document camera and display the worksheet on the SMART Board.  When all students have their pencils up, I say, "The directions on this paper say circle the pictures in the box that belong with each group."  I tell students to put their pencil point on number 1.  I model this on the SMARTBoard.  I call a student up to point to the picture that belongs with the first group of objects.  I ask, "Why did you chose that button?"  (It is blue.  All of the other buttons are blue.)  I tell students, "You may finish the paper on your own.  When you are finished, put your head down."  When all students are finished, I remind them about the paper tray in the front of the room.  I tell students that when they are finished with math papers, they will be putting them in this tray to be checked.  I model how to walk up to the tray and lay my paper in it correctly so that other papers can lay flat on top of it.  I call each table up one at a time and watch as students put their papers in the tray.


15 minutes

I tell students, "Now you will have a chance to do some sorting of your own."  I show students plastic trays filled with buttons, and say, "We are going to sort these buttons by color.  Remember you need to group the buttons that are the same color."  For this lesson, I use plastic buttons that are different shapes, sizes and colors.  I review the rules for group work.

Share the materials in the tray.

Materials are to be pulled out as needed. (The tray does not need to be dumped out.) 

Talk in quiet voices. 

I remind students that when the clean up song comes on, they need to put all of their materials back into the tray and put their heads down.  I have students return to their seats and give each table a tray of objects.  I circulate throughout the room to ensure that students are sorting the buttons by color.  I use the remaining time to pull students to complete our beginning of the year baseline assessment.  To clean up, I turn on the clean up song.  I use Dr. Jean’s Tidy Up.  It is on her All Day Long album.


5 minutes

I close this lesson by inviting students back up to the carpet.  I have several students share what they did at their seats.  I mention positive things that I noticed during the practice time such as, "I like how you remembered to sort by color."  

I also include something that needs to be better next time such as, "Tomorrow we need to remember to share the materials with everyone at your table."  I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we read the story Grandma's Button Box and sorted our buttons by color."  I then tell students what we are going to do tomorrow.  "Tomorrow we are going to find other ways to sort."